Reflections on Gardeners' World Live 2009

by Adam Pasco

Our five-day extravaganza at BBC Gardeners' World Live has sadly come to an end for another year.

Adam Pasco at Gardeners' World LiveOur five-day extravaganza at BBC Gardeners' World Live has sadly come to an end for another year. Much of my time was spent on our Gardeners' World Magazine Celebrity Theatre where my personal contribution involved presenting informative and (hopefully) entertaining shows with great gardeners like Pippa Greenwood, Anne Swithinbank, Alys Fowler and Kevin Smith on far ranging topics like orchids, pest control, thrifty tips and wildlife gardening. What a mix. In one show we could be describing the life cycle of the lily beetle or caring for moth orchids, and in the next making bird nesting boxes or sowing seeds in recycled toilet roll tubes. That's the joy of Gardeners' World Live - offering something for everyone, and giving visitors a chance to see their favourite television gardeners in action. It was great having Monty Don at the show for a couple of days, seeing him in such fine form, and hearing of exciting future projects in the pipeline. The Gardeners' World television team were at the show in force, both filming for Friday evening's programme (available to watch for the next few days on BBC iPlayer), and also in action around the show. Toby gave a wonderful talk on the development of Greenacre - the new TV garden - while Carol demonstrated plant propagation, and Joe inspired us with design ideas for any garden. But it was Alys that I had the great pleasure to work with on stage. Kevin and I shared our own recycling tips with audiences, and Alys topped it all off with a great idea for bringing native wildflowers to derelict sites near you. Alys demonstrated how to mix together a little clay and compost with wildflower seed to form 'seed bombs'. Armed with a pocket full of these she then throws them into derelict sites to introduce wildflowers. This simple idea will hopefully help bring colour to unsightly corners of towns and cities, and encourage wildlife into them, too. My family joined me at the show for a couple of days, with Danielle and Luke helping backstage as we hastily removed props from one show and prepared for the next. And as their reward they were able to meet and watch their cookery icons the Hairy Bikers and Gino D'Acampo, who were demonstrating delicious recipes in the adjoining Good Food Summer Show. So, what are my overriding memories of this year's show?

  • Packed and enthusiastic audiences in our theatre
  • Visitors basking in the sunshine around the show gardens
  • Crowds jostling for position to see the experts in action on the new 'Taste of Greenacre' garden
  • Queues lining up to exchange all manner of things at the Plant Swap
  • And, of course, very happy visitors leaving the show laden down with bags full of exciting new plants

    Well, that's the real joy of Gardeners' World Live. It's a place for gardeners to come, share, relax, enjoy, and take home wonderful memories as well as new plants for their own gardens. We'll be doing it all again next June!

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    Gardeners' World Web User 15/06/2009 at 16:14

    My Husband and I went to the show for the first time this year and we had a fabulous day out! There was so much to see and learn (Hubby found out what was wrong with his tree fern) The NEC was clean, well organised and a pleasure to stoll around. Taking my sister next year I can't wait!!!!

    Gardeners' World Web User 15/06/2009 at 18:38

    We were there on Friday - what a wonderful day, it was almost too much to take in in one day. I now have so many new ideas to help in my aim to grow more veg and fruit. People had time to answer questions and share their experiences. Roll on 2010

    Gardeners' World Web User 15/06/2009 at 20:11

    Congratulations BBC! After two disasterous shows which had me going in circles trying to find particular stands, as the numbering system didn't flow, this year worked!(Got so angry in 2007 that missed 2008) The bright yellow carpeting and green drapes lifted the usually dark and cave-like halls, so that it was for the first time a pleasure to wander round. However it would have made life easier if the false walls dividing sections had been marked on the map.(dotted lines?) Still not enough time to see everything & had to miss gardens,but I did find the societies I was looking for.And actually looking forward to 2010.Well done for getting it right!

    Gardeners' World Web User 16/06/2009 at 10:27

    how do I find the new pull up supports for climbing plants in pots which was on flower show last week

    Gardeners' World Web User 16/06/2009 at 13:11

    Send a Cow were there and we had such a good time with our own garden! (which had loads of tips about how the keyhole garden enables families in Africa to grow veg all year round) We were really pleased we won a silver award - We've put up lots of pictures from the day and of our garden - (Send a Cow Blog) Thanks for everything :-)

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